How To Earn The Most From Google Adsense Part 3

Not intending to write this post at all after part 1 and part 2 of the Adsense series, I discovered something interesting the other day about Adsense earnings while looking at some click-thru statistics on specific pages. So the How To Earn The Most From Google Adsense series continues.

Obviously the best way to earn the most from Google Adsense is to get people to click on your ads, but you can’t just ask people to do that or even trick them into doing so by making your ads appear like anything other than what they are. So how do you get people to click on your ads? You do so by making them the most appealing thing or subject on the page to click on.

But the secret to this goes a little deeper. What I found out after looking over my statistics in the past few days is that most of my pages get anywhere from no clicks (we all have pages like that) to around a 5 to 10% click-thru rate. But then I have a few pages that get an astounding 20 to 26% click-thru rate month after month after month. That means one out of every four to five people that lands on one of these pages clicks an Adsense ad (By the way, if you aren’t using Adsense url channels to track clicks on individual pages you need to be).

How is this happening?

Okay, Here’s The Big Adsense Secret

You can only do this on certain kinds of pages written a specific way. The big secret is, you need to write in a general manner instead of a specific manner. What I mean by this is that if you are writing for your travel based site and write about lets say, the city of San Francisco as a place to vacation, the more general you write, the better your CTR. Here’s what I’m finding out – If you talk about walking along Fisherman’s Warf being around the water and the restaurants, and shops, and sights, and sounds and what it’s like to be in that area and even provide links to some of these things, the ads on pages such as this usually turn out to be the most attractive thing on the page for visitors to click on.

However, if you write about a specific restaurant you visited or hotel you stayed in and go into detail about what you ate, what your hotel room was like, the view you had, etc., and then provide a link, your visitors are more than likely going to go visit that link because that’s where you have driven their interest. Of course if you have an affiliate link you can send them through, that’s the way to do it, but that’s not always possible, especially in the case of a restaurant.

As an example of this, my best converting Adsense page has 9 other links in the content of the page to various parks, shops, attractions and flight information all related to the area I’m writing about, yet 25% of the people that visit that page choose to click on an Adsense ad. To contrast that, I write about many of the establishments Jean and I have stayed in or explored and provide pictures and links and these are my worst converting Adsense pages. Everyone wants to go visit and see these places for themselves, they don’t want to read all about the great place you stayed or ate at and then click on an ad.

A warning is needed here though. This doesn’t mean you should go out and create sites full of nothing but general information, that will eventually bore your readers. Visitors do like to read interesting and specific things on a variety of subjects you may have some expertise in. There is always the likelihood someone will get to your pages looking for something specific and and up on a general page because they are looking for the history of an area or want to get the general feel of being where you’ve been or experiencing what you’ve experienced.

If you have a site that isn’t doing well with Adsense, take a look at part 1 and part 2 of this series on the kinds of sites that do well with Adsense and how to optimize your site for Adsense and if you still aren’t doing well, try doing some summary and general info pages based on the info in this post. That’s probably where you’re going to find your Adsense sweet spot.

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Travel Niche Is Hot During Summer Slowdown

I’ve written previously on how the travel niche is good for earning money through Google Adsense because it is something where people spend time shopping and looking for the best deals. This kind of action can get you multiple Adsense clicks even on the same page of your travel based site. Another reason travel is a good niche is because it is hot during the first part of the summer through the beginning or middle part of August when other niches are traditionally experiencing a slowdown.

Let’s look at a comparison of the terms vacation rentals and electric guitar and their search volume during 2007 according to Google Trends. As you can see from the graph below the term “vacation rentals” started an upward trend in May and is peaking out right about now as I write this post. And there are other niches within the “vacation rental” niche that trend fairly well through the beginning of October. However, if you look at the keyword “electric guitar” it takes a slight drop at the beginning of July and doesn’t trend upwards until the Christmas season.

Vacation Rentals Trends

The electric guitar drop off in summer is more pronounced when you look at the chart back in 2006 by itself without comparing it to another term.

The obvious reason travel is a good niche to sustain you through the summer is because that’s when kids are out of school and families are planning and taking their vacations. The trick is to find sub niches within the travel niche that sustains even longer through the summer months (easy to do with Google Trends). You can also see that when travel hits its low search volume during November and the first couple of weeks in December, that’s when people are searching for electric guitars and other gift type items for Christmas.

I haven’t looked into this, but other niches that would probably be great during summer are things like camping equipment, travel accessories and recreational toys that people will be using as they are enjoying the summer months.

If you plan your affiliate marketing strategy right and diversify your earnings, you can get through the summer slowdown without losing much steam at all and be ready for the robust Christmas shopping season, possibly with some extra advertising dollars. 

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June 2008 Affiliate Income Report

It’s time for another income report here at AffiliateConfession.com and it’s a record month for affiliate earnings mainly due to some nice contest winnings in May which lets me cook the books a little. I didn’t report that I won $750 in cash from the Webmaster-Talk.com contest and I’ve used that to cover $543.66 worth of advertising expenses this month. When the $750 has been spent I’ll again take off advertising from the revenue total.

Google Adsense and the Microsoft Affiliate program contributed significantly to the record this month as well. The breakdown of earnings this month is as follows:

Google Adsense – $1,492.96
Commission Junction – $50.37
EPN – eBay – $778.60
Meal Planner Ebook – $119.00
TripAdvisor – $222.83
Clickbank – $189.95
Private Advertising – $105.00
AzoogleAds – $17.30
Microsoft – $400.00
Other Affiliate Programs – $103.60
Total Revenue – $3,479.61
Total Income – $3,479.61

You may have noticed that Commission Junction revenue is down by a large margin and that’s because most of what I was earning through them was from eBay who has now moved over to their own private program management and Pepperjam Network. Also, I was earning some decent money through generating leads with Apartments.com and had been up in the range of $200-$250 per month, but their landing pages stopped converting and now the same amount of clicks sent their way is earning me $40 rather than $200 per month.

I’m continuing to work on PPC and have had some limited success and with earnings this month I’ll have an even bigger advertising budget than last month, so things are looking up.

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How To Earn The Most From Google Adsense Part 2

In yesterday’s post about how to make money with Adsense I covered how to find the right niche that’s going to pay you on a consistent, long term basis. Today I’m going to cover how to place ads on your site to generate the most revenue and how to SEO your site so you will get the most relevant ads. The more relevant the ads, the more people will click on them and of course, the more you will earn.

All this comes with a warning though. You do want to maximize your earnings and generate the most revenue you can with Adsense, but you never want to trick people into clicking on ads or ever encourage people to click on your ads. If you try and fool Google, you will be caught and your account will be banned. Please read the terms of service for Adsense and follow them, because your revenue depends on it.

You certainly have to follow Google’s terms of service for Adsense, but there are lots of things you can to do place ads prominently so people will see them and have the best chance to find something that interests them. And that’s the mindset you need to develop when using Adsense to generate income. You want your advertising to be interesting, relevant to your visitors and in a place where they don’t have to look for it. If you just go plastering Adsense blocks top-dead-center on your site, you may generate some revenue, but not as much as you could be generating. Think of serving your visitors, not just seeing how much you can earn from them clicking on ads.

Google Adsense Secret #1

The best place to put your Adsense units to generate the most interest in the ads displayed is right within the content of your site so your text actually has to wrap around the ads. If there is any secret to Adsense, this is certainly the biggest one. If your visitors have to read around the outside of your Adsense block, they may have your ads in their sight for 15 to 30 seconds depending on how much text you have and how fast they read. That’s an eternity on the net and gives a huge advantage to ads that are placed outside of the content of your site. Other placements of Adsense will never generate the revenue this kind of placement will.

In general I have not had good luck with right sidebar type placements of Adsense because they are the opposite of what you are trying to do with in content placements. Visitors have to be looking around your page to click on ads in the right sidebar and they generally have a very low click through rate.

Google Adsense Secret #2 

To make your ads placed in the content of your site get an even better chance of being clicked on, you will want to make the background and the border color of your Adsense unit the same color as the page background they wil be sitting on. This has the effect of removing the borders so it looks like you just have a few text ads floating in the middle of your page content. The border acts as a separation of your ad from the content wrapping around it, so get rid of it and let your ads blend in with your text.

The screenshot below shows the Adsense layout on my best earning site so you can see exactly how I have things set up. This is a tried and true set up that has been working for me for about 4 years and it places the ads right in front of the visitor for the maximum amount of time.

Google Adsense Placement

This is another mindset change you have to get used to in order to maximize earnings with Adsense. The more you make your ads stand out by creating wild color schemes, off color links (I never use anything other than standard link blue) and ads that say click me, click me, the less those ads will be clicked. When you make your ads less noticeable and seem like they were meant to be there, the more they will get clicked.  I regularly get a 15 to 17% CTR on the site pictured above with this layout.

The last thing I want to cover in this post is SEO for Adsense. This isn’t SEO for your site, it’s SEO for Adsense and what you can do to get Google to serve you the most relevant ads possible. John Pratt sort of stole my thunder with his comment yesterday on how to set up your title, description and keywords, but I’ll expand on what he mentioned a little.

What you want to include besides great content on your specific pages are a keyword rich title, a keyword rich meta description, meta keywords relevant to your content (I still use meta keywords, but only include 4 or 5 phrases at the most) and a keyword rich H1 title at the top of the page above your content. This all helps Google read your page and serve you ads that fit your content and many believe your page title is probably the most important tag, so make sure to include relevant keyword phrases in it. Putting your keywords as close to the beginning of your page title as possible will also help.

Sometimes though, no matter what you do, Google doesn’t seem to be able to read your content correctly and they serve you completely irrelevant ads (This sometimes happens even on well established pages). You also at times may write about something that’s not that relevant to your site or you may mention something, such as your competitors, that you certainly don’t want ads appearing for. There is something you can do to force Google to read only certain sections of your page if they don’t seem to be able to serve relevant ads.

You can target certain sections of your content in effect telling Google only to read specific portions of your page. By using these tags at the beginning and end of text you think is most relevant to your page, Google will serve ads based on what you have between the first and second tag.

<!– google_ad_section_start –>
<!– google_ad_section_end –>

You can even use this on multiple sections of your page, skipping areas you don’t want affecting the kinds of ads that show up. It is best to use as large an area of content as possible so Google has a lot of keywords to determine relevancy.

I’m thinking this could have been a 3 part series on Adsense rather than 2 parts, so I hope you haven’t had too much to read in this post.

Try experimenting with the techniques mentioned above and in part one of the Adsense series and see if you don’t have a nice improvement in your earnings. Of course I can’t guarantee you anything will happen because there are so many factors that go into doing well with Adsense, but these principles have helped me generate a fairly steady Adsense income for several years.

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How To Earn The Most From Google Adsense Part 1

Make Money With Google AdsenseI get questions and comments on a fairly regular basis asking me how I manage to earn a pretty consistent $1,300 per month using Google Adsense. They usually come from people who lament the fact that they only make $68.52 or some such amount per month and they want to know my secret for earning what I do. In light of that, here is part 1 of a 2 post series on how to earn the most from Adsense. This first post will cover what kind of niches and keywords to target and the next post will cover how to optomize your pages and Adsense placement to get the most clicks.

I just want to preface this post by saying that I’m no Google Adsense expert, there are people who make thousands per day and I’m not one of them. However, I have been able to discover what works quite well for me and I’ll share it in these 2 posts, but first, let’s clear up one huge misconception about Adsense. Very high paying Adsense keywords aren’t necessarily the best keywords to be basing a niche site around.The main reason for this is because if someone is paying $50 per click for one of those mesothelioma lawyer type keywords they probably don’t have their ads displaying on Google’s content network, and if they do, it is on a very selective basis and you and your sites aren’t in that picture.

You probably don’t stand a chance of building a site about mesothelioma, laser hair removal, or DUI lawyers and getting those very high paying ads to display on your site, much less get your site ranked in the search engines any longer. People and businesses who can afford to spend $50 to $100 per click to get traffic to their site are more than likely hiring someone who knows what they’re doing when it comes to Adwords, so it’s pretty certain they aren’t wasting their ads on your made for Adsense site.

To make long term consistent money from Adsense, you must base your site on keywords that pay relatively high, get lots of traffic, attract shoppers and are not based on a fad movements or lawsuit of the day clubs. When I say shoppers I mean people who are in a frame of mind to be looking at many different aspects of or products in the niche you are targeting. The more people are in a shopping mode, the more ads they will be clicking on, because they heven’t decided to buy yet. Remember, they’re looking, just like you are looking when you go out shopping for a pair of shoes and try on 15 pairs before you buy. Now translate each one of those shoe fittings into a click and you get my point.

That’s why I like the travel niche so much for Adsense. There are niches within this niche that I do very well in and won’t reveal, but in general, building a travel based web site is a good way to earn substantial revenue from Adsense. It works for the same reason mentioned above, people shop when they look for travel. Let’s say someone is planning a trip to Seattle, they will look at all kinds of things related to their trip, from several places to stay, to restaurants, to activities and attractions to airfare and more. If they don’t find what they’re looking for from an ad they clicked on your site they may hit the back button and click another ad on your site.

If you have a comprehensive enough content site about vacationing in Seattle, or Northern California, or Las Vegas, or wherever, they may spend a lot of time on your site and do substantial planning right from your very own informational pages that have Adsense and other revenue generating advertisments on them. Occassionally I will have pages that get a more than 100% CTR for Adsense, meaning people are hitting the back button and clicking more ads on my pages generating more revenue.

Finding the right niche for Adsense is the foundation for earning consistently high revenue. If you think about what you’re targeting, brainstorm on subjects where people spend a lot of money and therefore merchants are willing to spend a lot of advertising dollars to attract consumers. Travel is great because people are spending hundreds or thousands booking flights, finding places to stay, cars to rent, etc. On the other hand a website about your Beanie Baby collection wouldn’t be such a great idea because they aren’t a fad any longer and they cost $5 or $10 each, not something where an advertiser is willing to pay $2 a click on Adwords for.

In part 2 of How To Earn The Most From Google Adsense I’ll cover how to optomize your site and Adsense placement to get the most clicks and earn the most revenue. 

Allright, time to put on your thinking cap and figure out where people spend lots of their hard earned money for the long term. Get that down and you’ve got a great foundation to earn a nice income from Adsense.

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